World Water Day 2021 And Implication Of Clean Water
An 18th century poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge was right when in 1798 in his lyrical ballad; “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, says water water everywhere, nor any drop to drink”.
Similarly, a 2016 UNEP report noted that the high demand for water will exceed its supply by 40 percent in 2030, as situation that may force many governments across the world to spend $200 billion per year on upstream supply, as demand out-strips cheaper forms of supply up from historic average of $40 to $45 billion.
The United Nations General Assembly in 1992 adopted resolution A/RCS/47/193 and declared March 22nd every year as World Water Day.
The first world water day was observed in March 1993.
Rivers State joined the rest of the world to observe the 2021 world water day on the 22nd of March.
The theme for this year’s celebration was “Valuing Water”.
The event was attended by top government functionaries in Rivers State including the Rivers State, Governor, Chief Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, represented by the Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development, Dr Tamunosisi Gogo Jaja, speaker Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Ikunyi Owaji Ibani, Rivers State Head of Service, Barrister Rufus Godwin, former governor of Rivers State, Chief Celestine OmehiaChief OCJ Okocha amongst others.
Governor Wike, who declared the event opened said the state government was committed towards giving the people of Rivers State clean and potable water.
According to an address read by the Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development, Dr Tamunosisi Gogo Jaja the government has put in place structures that will take care of the need of Rivers people as far as the provision of water is concerned.
According to him, “the Rivers State water policy and water sector development law No. 7 of 2012, has introduced reforms in the water sector and ensured good water governance as a strong institutional framework that includes grassroot participation as stakeholder involvement to harness the natural resources and provide water for all in a sustainable manner.”
He listed some of the reforms as Port Harcourt Water Corporation (PHWC) to take care of water provision to Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor local government areas, Rivers State Small Towns Water Supply and Sanitation agency, the Rivers State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) and the Rivers State Water Services Regulatory Commission (RSWSRC).
The commissioner said with the establishment of these water governance structures, the administration of governor Wike has prioritised the provision of potable water to residents of the state.
“These efforts have seen the provision of water in several communities in the state.
“Today, most rural communities in Opobo/Nkoro and Akuku-Toru local government areas can access clean and safe water as water facilities installed have treatment plants.
He stressed the need for companies operating in the state to assist the state government with the provision of water treatment in their host communities.
In his discourse entitled: Valuing Water, the Role of Corporate Organisations in Water Sanitation And Hygiene (WASH).
The General Manager of Port Harcourt Water Corporation, Chief Ibibia Walter, described as dangerous to the environment, the situation where almost every household has a borehole drilled to produce water.
Walter said some of the boreholes were drilled in the worst possible hygienic conditions within aquifers that are either polluted with hydrocarbons organic or other carcinogenic elements.
He also put the number of people in Nigeria who do not have access to potable water at 47 million.
“Approximately, 47 million people in Nigeria do not have access to water and possibly double that number do not have access to good water and sanitation”, he said.
Professor Kingdom .S. Abam, who also made presentation at the celebration stressed the need for the creation of awareness on the values of water and their importance among policy makers, industry and community leaders as well as journalists, writers, scientists among others.
Abam also called for a regional or state-wide leadership coalition on valuing water to mobilise champions that lead by example as showcase in the application of the principles for valuing water in a range of different contexts and settings.
He further stressed the need for collaborative action of key parties such as national and local governments, industry and civil societies on valuing water.
Other speakers such as the former Governor of Rivers State, Chief Celestine Omehia, Chief OCJ Okocha, Rufus Godwins and others called for strong commitment by government at all levels to ensure accessibility to clean and potable water by the people.
According to revelations at the celebration, water occupies 71 percent of the earth surface.
With such a large volume of water, it is incredible that billions of people across the world are lacking access to clean and potable water.
Moreover, some diseases such as cholera, typhoid, diarrhea and others are attributable to dirty water consumption.
The United Nations places much emphasis on clean water, that is why it made it article 6 of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).
Indeed there is water everywhere but no water to drink.
Climate Change: Water Scarcity ’ll Displace 700m By 2030 -Commissioner
With the current climate scenerio around the world, and reliable water supply sources pumping away through flood, droughts and natural disaster, it has been predicted that water scarcity would displace between 24million to 70million people by 2030.
This is even as three out of ten people in Nigeria do not have clean water close to them, thereby putting them under constant threat from waterborne diseases like Cholera and the likes.
Rivers State Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku stated this while presenting his keynote address at the World Water Day celebration with the theme ‘Accelerating Change To Solve The Water And Sanitation Crisis’, in Portharcourt, last Wednesday.
Ebeku who noted that the climate was changing at an alarming rate explained that more frequent and extreme flooding was polluting fragile water sources and longer droughts drying up springs, stating that this has made it even harder for the world’s poorest people to get clean water.
According to him, the Sustainable Development Goal(SDG) No.6 as established by the UN General Assembly in 2015, was about ‘Clean Water and Sanitation for all’ with the sixth outcome targeting safe and affordable water.
The Commissioner said “findings from WHO and UN-Water’s Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water(GLAAS), report shows that acceleration is needed in many countries to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 -water and sanitation for all by 2030″.
With barely seven years left, Ebeku expressed fears that the more the climate changes with flooding, droughts and other natural disasters, the more challenging it becomes to hit the 2030 deadline.
“Dire consequences of climate change and extreme weather events bring more attention to the issues, underlining an urgent need for a whole-of society approach and global cooperation to act together”, Ebeku said.
While noting that the GLAAS 2022 report showed that countries making progress demonstrated high level of political commitment and investments in improving safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) systems, Ebeku stressed the need for the Nigerian government to take a queue for the achievement of safe and affordable water for it’s citizens.
He further called on the government and stakeholders to scale up support for WASH service delivery through strengthened governance, financing, monitoring, regulation and capacity development.
By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu
NiMET Raises Alarm Over Concentration Of Green House Gases In Atmosphere
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has cautioned the public on the continues rise of average concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere with devastating global consequences.
NiMet noted that it is very clear, however, that no country in the world is immune against the effect of the changing climate, whether as an emitter or non-emitter of these gases.
The Director General/CEO, NiMet, Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu in his keynote address on the occasion of the World Meteorological Day, in Abuja, said the world had seen ravaging storms cutting across several international borders during their lifecycles.
This therefore he explained, echoes the essential of cooperation at the core of existence of the WMO. “Indeed, happenings over the years have taught us all that weather has no boundary.”
Matazu, while speaking at the event, with the theme: The Future of Weather, Climate and Water across Generation, said: “As you may be aware, every year on the 23rd of March, the World celebrates Meteorological Day.
“This ‘day’ commemorates the coming into force on 23rd March 1950 of the Convention establishing the World Meteorological Organisation.”
According to Matazu, Prior to this date, the International Meteorological Organisation existed since 1873, as a cooperation of international bodies or institutions working tirelessly together, exchanging data and making forecasts for the good of all.
“This cooperation has been strengthened since the establishment of the World Meteorological organisation (WMO).Over the years, society as well as science has evolved.”
Speaking further, the NiMet boss, represented by the Director, Research and Training NiMet Prof. Effiom Oku, maintained: “Technology has allowed us to modernise the way activities are conducted in a more concise and efficient manner. We have witnessed the transition from an analogue society to a digital one, and the evolvement is expected to continue. In the same way, the world climate has transited from variability to change while variability still continues within different climate environment.
“The global atmosphere continues to warm while nations struggle to adjust to the reality of combating climate change amidst economic gains.”
He said as an organisation of 187 Member States and 6 Member Territories, the WMO requires that all its members will operate with common vision and goals. “The World Meteorological Day therefore, offers opportunity for member countries to converge ideas and resources; and align in one common thematic area.
“The ‘Day’ showcases the essential contribution of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHss) such as NiMet and NIHSA (Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency) to the safety and wellbeing of society and is celebrated with activities around the world.”
“Therefore , while we work tirelessly to improve on our activities, we must not forget to prepare the future generation for the task ahead”, Matazu said.
First Phase Of Trans Kalabari Road: Wike Brought Development To Kalabari Land -Minama Monarch
As Rivers State Governor, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, commissions the first phase of the Trans Kalabari Road on Tuesday, Amanyanabo of Minama community in Asari Toru Local Government Area, HRH King Iboroma Talbot Pokubo has said that Governor Wike’s administration has brought development to the doorstep of the Kalabari kingdom.
King pokubo who said this in an exclusive interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt said the road has opened up communities in the area for development.
He said the road has not only boosted development in the area but checked the cost of going to Minama from Abonnema.
King Pokubo however said it is the wish of the people that all communities in Asari Toru Local Government Area be connected by road.
“As an Asalgan,I want everyone and every villages in Asari Toru local Government Area to be connected to other parts of the state.
“We have Oporoma,Sama and we also have Tema Ifoko road which is supposed to be connected to Abalama.
“It could be the second or third phase of Trans Kalabari Road. The Tema Ifoko road has been abandoned for along time,”he said.
On the victory of Sir Siminalaye Fubara, Pokubo described Fubara as a technocrat who will surely bring his wealth of experience to bear on the governance of the state.
“Sir Fubara is a vibrant person and he has gone through all the rigorous processes in becoming governor,as an experience leader and as a civil servant from the scratch to Accountant General.
“You can see that he has gone through all the processes”, the monarch said.
The Minama monarch also urged the incoming Governor to look into Education, health care and human capital development
He particularly said accomodations be provided to teachers both at the tertiary and primary schools, while teachers at the rural areas be encouraged to teach.
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